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Other Visas

The Office of International Affairs advises on matters related to F-student visas, J-student and scholar visas, H-employment based scholar visas and permanent residency. Below is information on other visa types:

TN Visa

TN visa status allows citizens of Canada and Mexico to engage in professional business activities in the U.S. on a temporary basis for up to three years. TN visas may be extended for periods up to three years at a time. The TN visa is employer specific. A contract or letter of employment in the U.S. and documentation verifying the minimum education and/or work experience is required for the TN visa. Dependents of TN holders are eligible for TD visa status. TD visa holders are not eligible to work in the U.S. If you are a UC Merced hiring School/Department, email employment-based visa specialist Becky Mirza at for further information on hiring a prospective TN visa employee. For more information on the TN visa, click here.

O-1 Visa

The O-1 visa is for people with extraordinary ability or achievement in the sciences, arts, education, business, or athletics or who have recognized extraordinary achievement in the motion picture and television fields, demonstrated by sustained national or international acclaim, to work in their field of expertise. If you are a UC Merced hiring department, please email employment-based visa specialist Becky Mirza at for further information on hiring a prospective O-1 visa employee.

B Visa

Visitor visas are nonimmigrant visas for persons who want to enter the United States temporarily for business (visa category B-1), tourism, pleasure or visiting (visa category B-2), or a combination of both purposes (B-1/B-2). These visitor visas are not UC Merced sponsored visas. Here is the U.S. Department of State web page on the B Visitor Visa.

In some cases, prospective visitors—particularly at the scholar/professional level—are invited to campus based on reasons for visiting and activities on campus that at first glance might seem appropriate for a B-1 or WB visa: the visit is of short-duration, the visitor will not be paid, and the visitor will not have a formal appointment at the university. However, the Department of State has strongly suggested that any visitor to a U.S. academic institution who engages in a collaborative activity or research, and whose activity will benefit the hosting institution should be sponsored for a J-1 visa, particularly if that activity/research will result in a future publication. The Department of State precludes such visitors from entering with a B-1 visa, which allows only for “independent” research, not collaboration. Even use of UC Merced-owned equipment for research, or an experiment which will appear at a future time in academic publications, requires the visitor to enter on a J-1—not a B-1—visa.

In rare cases where the visitor is invited to UC Merced as a speaker or to attend a meeting, interview, conference or workshop for a short duration (9 or less days), a B-1 visa may be an option. Be sure to contact the Academic Personnel Office or Business and Financial Services to learn about the strict payment restrictions and limitations with B visa visitors. This UCOP web page also has more information.

The B-2 visitor visa is ideal for non-U.S. citizen family members wishing to visit their UC Merced student or to attend their commencement ceremony. The student or UC Merced department can use one of these sample invitation letters: sample letter #1 written by student or sample letter #2 written by UC Merced Department. The family member can take the letter to their visa appointment interview to support their visitor visa application.

If a visitor will be on campus for more than 10 consecutive days in B-1 visitor status, the Department/School who invited the visitor should complete the International Visitor Registration form.